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John Rainey × Peter Richards

Face Off was shown as part of Rainey’s 2016 first solo exhibition in Belfast, On Visibility, which was developed for the Golden Thread Gallery’s Project Space. The exhibition marked a significant shift in Rainey’s practice: seeing him move from the creation of individual works as part of a series to works that both stand on their own and as elements of a larger installation; a way of working that Rainey has continued to explore since. When I first encountered Face Off, it appeared to be fabricated from latex or other malleable material. It lay draped over the powder-painted, black steel handrail, protruding from a band of matt-black paint covering the lower third of the gallery wall. Seduced by the subtlety and deadness of its’ perfect matt finish, I was drawn into a closer viewing. In that moment I engaged with the unsettling sense of doubt that pervades Rainey’s practice.
Peter Richards is an artist and curator based in Belfast, who has worked as the Director of the Golden Thread Gallery since 2001. He is chair of the Belfast Visual Arts Forum and secretary of Association Internationale de Critiques D’Art, Ireland.

John Rainey
Face Off, 2016 

Parian porcelain, glass eyes, silicone rubber, powder-coated steel
Video Duration: 01.26
Video courtesy of the artist
Videography by Stuart Calvin

John Rainey
On Visibility, 2016
Installation view at Golden Thread Gallery Project Space

Images courtesy of the artist & Golden Thread Gallery.
Photography by (1,2) Stuart Calvin, (3,4,5) Simon Mills, (6) Laura Curran

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John Rainey is a sculptor based in Belfast. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art, London (2012), Rainey has undertaken residencies at the British School at Rome (2018) and Konstfack, University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm (2013). His work has been exhibited in solo presentations at BERG Gallery, Stockholm (2019), Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast (2016) and Marsden Woo Gallery, London (2013). Group exhibitions include: AWARD (British Ceramics Biennial), Stoke-on-Trent (2019), Crowded Thresholds, National Design and Craft Gallery, Kilkenny (2019), EVA International, Hunt Museum and Limerick City Art Gallery, Limerick (2018) and Dissolving Histories, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast (2017).